Press Release: Asian American Journalists Association

Asian American Journalists Association, April 16, 2007

Media Advisory: Coverage on Virginia Tech Shooting Incident, April 16, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Janice Lee, 415-346-2051, [email protected]

SAN FRANCISCO (April 16, 2007)Like the rest of the nation, we at the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) are stunned at the news of today’s shooting at Virginia Tech. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends as they cope with this horrific incident.

As coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting continues to unfold, AAJA urges all media to avoid using racial identifiers unless there is a compelling or germane reason. There is no evidence at this early point that the race or ethnicity of the suspected gunman has anything to do with the incident, and to include such mention serves only to unfairly portray an entire people.

The effect of mentioning race can be powerfully harmful. It can subject people to unfair treatment based simply on skin color and heritage.

We further remind members of the media that the standards of news reporting should be universal and applied equally no matter the platform or medium, including blogs.

We at AAJA, representing approximately 2,000 reporters, editors, photographers and executives in the industry, encourage journalists to refer to style and reference books, both within their own shop as well as AAJA’s at http://www.aaja.org/resources/apa_handbook/.

We also invite those with concerns or questions to contact AAJA as a resource for issues of fair and accurate coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. AAJA’s national office is at (415) 346-2051, [email protected], www.aaja.org.

About AAJA

The Asian American Journalists Association is a non-profit professional and educational organization with approximately 2,000 members across the United States and in Asia. Founded in 1981, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry. AAJA’s mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs, and to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry. AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY Journalists of Color, along with the Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and National Association of Black Journalists. For more information, visit www.aaja.org.

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